What ‘p-values’ and ‘statistical significance’ really mean (Remco Heesen)

There’s a huge debate going on in social science right now. The question is simple, and strikes near the heart of all research: What counts as solid evidence? When it comes to proving an hypothesis, key terms are ‘statistical significance’ and ‘p-values’. With philosopher of science Remco Heesen (University of Western Australia & University of Groningen) I discuss the ongoing discussion around these concepts, and clear up some misunderstandings along the way.

Here’s what we talk about:

  • How do scientists determine whether an experimental result should be considered true, i.e. wheher the experiment worked / whether some manipulation was effective / wheter there was an effect or difference between groups
  • P-values and “statistical significance” play a central role here but are widely misunderstood. This is what they actually mean.
  • Problems with this way of doing science
  • What could be alternatives? (Briefly)
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